Baboon bearing resemblance in pigmentation pattern to Siamese cat carries a missense mutation in the tyrosinase gene.

07:00 EST 13th February 2020 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Baboon bearing resemblance in pigmentation pattern to Siamese cat carries a missense mutation in the tyrosinase gene."

An infant hamadryas baboon exhibiting an albino phenotype -white body hair and red eyes- was born to parents with wild-type body color. Pigmentation on some parts of its body surfaced during childhood and progressed with age. This baboon in adulthood has gray hair on parts of its body, such as the tail, distal portion of the legs, and face, with the remainder being white. This pigmentation pattern resembles that of the Siamese cat and the Himalayan variants of the mouse and the mink. The distinguishing phenotypes in these animals are known to be caused by a temperature-sensitive activity of tyrosinase, an enzyme essential for biosynthesis of melanin. We sequenced all the five exons of the tyrosinase (TYR) gene of this albino baboon, which were amplified by PCR, and found a base substitution leading to alteration of the 365th amino acid from Ala to Thr. Tyrosinase requires copper as a cofactor for its enzyme function. It has two copper-binding sites, the second of which contains His residues in positions 363 and 367 that are critical to its function. Thus, p.(Ala365Thr) due to a mutation in the TYR gene is a likely candidate for the cause of the albino phenotype in this baboon.


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Name: Genome
ISSN: 1480-3321


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